End of it all

Hi everyone,
Could i ask a stupid question,
When can i say ive beaten it,
Is that now ive finished my radiotherapy or after the 10 years of tablets i’m on I’m confused , thankyou in advance x


Hi there…you can say you are NED ( no evidence of disease) …no doctor will ever tell you you are cancer free …in my casei was given your treatment with curative intent and i just try to live the best life i can for as long as i can…i guess its about trying to find a way forward …and that can be hard …are there any moving forward courses in your area?


Hi, it’s not a stupid question at all - I had similar thoughts when I came to the end of my active treatment, and still think about it now.

I think part of the problem is the way in which the mainstream and social medias treat cancer ‘stories’…it’s always depicted as a fight that people win or lose, we use the term ‘survivor’ and show cancer patients ringing bells after the end of chemo which all helps to create the belief that for every patient there is an end point when they’ve either sadly ‘lost the battle’ or ‘beaten cancer’ and survived.

When you actually go through it though, (at least with breast cancer which is the one I know about first hand) there doesn’t seem to be an end point, a time when you can figuratively ring that bell and say you’ve beaten it and survived.

Instead, for many there’s 5 or 10 years of hormone therapy and yearly scans for x years to check for evidence of recurrence or new primaries, so it feels like you’re still ‘in the fight’.

As cat15 says it is hard. Your unconscious belief that you can trust your body has gone, always at the back of your mind is the thought that your next scan could show that it’s returned.

On my good days I can manage to push it far enough to the back of my mind to almost believe it’s not there and just get on with my life. But it doesn’t take much to bring it to the front again.

I second cat15’s comment about the moving forward courses - they can be really helpful.

I wish you good luck with it all and hope you find a way forward that allows you some peace of mind.

Lisa xx


It’s not a silly question as I asked my oncologist the same thing after my lumpectomy…I said I didn’t know what to tell people…now the tumour has been removed but still having treatment…radiotherapy, Herceptin injections, the 10year pills, mammograms, dexa scans, echocardiograms…etc…I felt confused also…so they said just say yes you are cancer free but now having preventative treatment…they don’t say cured but apparently after 5years if nothing has returned they say NED (no evidence of disease)